August 2, 2019
The Columbia Journalism Review reported on July 26th that more than 60 news organizations have signed up to devote “one week of focused coverage” to the international “Climate Action Summit” hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York on September 16-23.
July 26, 2019
Economic growth slowed in the second quarter of 2019, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It remained above 2% thanks to a combination of personal consumption and federal and state government spending. Business investment, however, contracted. This suggests that tariffs are beginning to harm the economy, exactly as free market economics suggested they would.
July 10, 2019
There’s a new RealClear Opinion Research poll out, and it shows a disappointing lack of support for free markets and trade. RealClear found that only half of registered voters thought global trade had been a net positive for the U.S. over the past ten years. This is a significant decline in support, down from what had been a bipartisan consensus for decades.
July 3, 2019
Our friends at the Adam Smith Society—the Manhattan Institute’s professional association for business students—have hosted some excellent events and presentations over the past few years, including at their 2018 annual meeting. At that event The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O'Grady interviewed Prof. Douglas Irwin about his 2017 book "Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy." The event took place in April of last year, but their conversation is still very much relevant to trade debate going on today.
June 7, 2019
The Cato Institute here in Washington, D.C. recently sponsored a discussion of trade and economic development, emphasizing the role that robust trade has in raising living standard in developing nations.
May 31, 2019
Things have been moving quickly on President Trump’s top legislative priority, the NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement. The key was rescinding steel and aluminum tariffs against Canada and Mexico. On Wednesday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved to introduce the agreement to Canada’s legislature for ratification, prompting a Thursday visit from Vice President Mike Pence. Also on Thursday, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO for short) introduced NAFTA/USMCA in Mexico’s Senate.
May 22, 2019
Large U.S. companies slowed their investment in the first quarter of 2019, largely because of ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. This is exactly what free-trade economics suggested would happen. When costs increase because of tariffs and uncertainty shadows the direction of trade policy, companies delay investment.
May 17, 2019
The Trump administration is mostly lifting its steel aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico, effective 48 hours from today’s announcement. But metal tariffs will remain higher than they were just 14 months ago. They have raised consumer prices for cars, housing, and washing machines, while preventing passage of President Trump's signature revised NAFTA/USMCA trade agreement. Even now, passage is not guaranteed.
May 15, 2019
Boeing, fresh off a victory in restoring the Export-Import Bank’s full lending authority, is floating the idea of a 100 percent tariff on Airbus aircraft and parts. Airbus is Boeing’s largest competitor. There are four factors in play here. The first three are public relations, the opportunity costs of cronyism, and how best to pursue a level playing field in the global economy. The fourth is the likely retaliation such a move would spark.
May 14, 2019
If President Trump’s trade war has a single takeaway, it is this: Raising tariffs is an ineffective bargaining strategy. When the U.S. raises its tariffs, other countries always retaliate, and always become less cooperative.